Weekly Inspiration: God's Picnic

By Fr. Mike Boutin

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."  Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."  "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

"Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over (Matthew 14:13-21).

I'm not sure how to describe this YouTube skit based on the feeding of the 5000. It's sort of like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Jesus style. So kick back, smile, and dude, click here!



Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to Tanglewood, the summer residence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  I took along a busload of parishioners and friends to bask in one of my favorite summer rituals: picnicking on the lawn.  The weather was perfect: a hot balmy summer day that we frittered away under the shade of a big old maple tree, which only later on did someone point out to this city-slicker was actually a hickory tree.

After a few refreshing glasses of demi-sec from the aptly named Tabor Hill from Michigan, I had one of those aha Transfiguration moments: the music was exquisitely beautiful, the day perfect, and as I looked around at all these people who a few hours before were strangers on a bus from Boston to Stockbridge, what I now saw was the mystery of a community of faith and friendship. 

We were, at least for a moment, truly one: in the music, the wine, the day, and in each other. We belonged together. We were no longer each on our own different colored blankets with our little picnic meals squirreled away; instead, we were truly one: a patchwork of God's wonderful colorful design, exquisitely and mysteriously made, stitched together by our maternal God's own hands.... and for a moment, at least, I thought that just maybe, the world was at peace.

I wondered if that's what Jesus thought when he looked out at the crowd of 15,000 people hanging on his every word...I wonder, if after he fed them from his own hands a few loaves of bread and some fish, if for a moment at least, he wondered if the world might finally be at peace....

But then, just as surely as it started, it came to an end...the disciples picked up the fragments of bread and fish, the crowds disbanded, and rather quickly, life as they knew it, returned to "normal," or, at least, to the status quo....

The same was true for my little community of faith: the concert finished, the wine ran out, our picnic lunches were put away, and our community disbanded: back to life as we once knew it....

Or....maybe not....maybe the moment on that lawn was enough to sustain Him and us into the future...maybe peace is not just an empty pipe dream...Christ continues to feed the deepest hungers of our hearts from His own hand....and His own heart....and through the giving of His own life to us in the Eucharist...

Now pray.....


8/7/2009 4:00:00 AM
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